Django Compressor and yUglify

Like many folks out there I’ve been making use of the YUI Compressor for quite a few years as part of my build process (currently as part of Django Compressor). About a year ago it was announced that YUI Compressor was going to go through a deprecation process and in the months since it has been given a new owner and has even seen an update.

But like the YUI team, I figured it’s probably time to move on as there are lots of new tools available including Closure and UglifyJS. The YUI team has also released a new library wrapper around UglifyJS and cssmin with the default YUI configurations on each of them called yUglify. So if you’re coming from YUI Compressor like myself, this library will keep things working basically the same.

To get started, you’ll first need to install yuglify globally via npm (I’m assuming you already have node and npm):

Next you’ll need to update your Django settings with the following:

Now for the new compressor filter:

Finally, go back to your Django settings and update your compressor settings with the new filter. Here are some examples (I’ve placed the filter in app/compressor/

I’ll see if I can push this upstream to the Compressor folks when I’ve got a few minutes.

I’ve also started looking at moving from Django Compressor to Django Pipeline as it supports yUglify out of the box but I’ll save that for another post.

Django Compressor, OfflineGenerationError and 500.html (handler500)

If you’ve tried using Django Compressor in your 500.html error handler you’ve most likely run into an error similar to the following in your logs:

From the docs… “The default 500 view passes no variables to the 500.html template and is rendered with an empty Context to lessen the chance of additional errors.”

This presents a slight problem if you’re using any type of assets (CSS, images, etc.) in your 500 page as you now have to maintain separate versions just for your 500.html instead of using the ones being generated by Compressor.

The solution is to use a custom class-based view. First, create a new view in your application:

Now tell Django to use it by declaring handler500 in your URLconf: